Valeri Ponomarev, one of the most underrated trumpeters in jazz, has a style based in the hard bop tradition of Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard, yet he keeps an open mind toward newer developments. On this CD, he is teamed with tenor saxophonist Bob Berg (whose soulful post-bop style has long been influenced by Michael Brecker), the little-known but talented Philadelphia-based pianist Sid Simmons, bassist Ken Walker, and drummer Billy Hart. The quintet performs six of the trumpeter's tricky yet swinging originals and a reharmonized rendition of "We'll Be Together Again." Ponomarev's very impressive range (hitting high notes with little difficulty), full sound and inventive ideas clearly inspire his sidemen.
Berg puts plenty of passion into his solos, and Simmons makes one wish that he were recorded more extensively. Easily recommended to modern straight-ahead jazz collectors.
|Commanndments from a Higher Authority / Valery Ponomarev||Valery Ponomarev||6:07|
|First Draft / Valery Ponomarev||Valery Ponomarev||5:59|
|Dance Intoxicant / Valery Ponomarev||Valery Ponomarev||9:52|
|A Star for You / Valery Ponomarev||Valery Ponomarev||7:16|
|Uh Oh / Valery Ponomarev||Valery Ponomarev||5:55|
|We'll Be Together Again / Carl Fischer / Frankie Laine||Valery Ponomarev||10:36|
|Blues Fro Elena / Valery Ponomarev||Valery Ponomarev||7:47|